Job Announcement: Research Scholar, Qatar

Georgetown University in Qatar has received a research grant from Qatar National Research Fund in support of a project exploring the impact of modern genetic and reproductive technologies on the Islamic structure of the nuclear family.

This position will be based in Doha for a period of 8 months on a full-time basis. It is eligible for accommodation, airfare, and medical insurance. Georgetown U-Qatar will assist in immigration and visa-related processing. Position begins 1 September 2017.

The research scholar will work with team members to:

  • Explore, identify, and analyze relevant scholarly literature.
  • Identify possible gaps relevant to the main research question.
  • Pursue a method of filling these gaps.

Other duties as assigned.

For a full description of this position and to apply:  https://georgetown.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/Georgetown_Qatar_Careers/job/Qatar/Research-Scholar_JR00843

 

2nd Post for the New Year, 1 January 2017: “There For Six Months” (A Re-Post, Because Still Relevant)

A student, Kevin ______, wrote this years ago. The class was Composition & Rhetoric. The assignment was for students to write an autobiographical essay. But self didn’t have the heart to grade the student down for thinking outside the box, especially after he told her it was the first poem he ever wrote.

He was 20. Never wrote another thing.

There For Six Months

Underneath Pink Floyd’s alluring rhapsody
the phone was ringing,
Hey you, out there on your own,
sitting naked by the phone, would you touch me
and my older brother is telling me that
come January, he’ll be in Iraq,
serving his time of duty for six months
in the war
see also: abuse of power, see also: corpses

Meanwhile, people all around are nestled away in their cozy,
unobtrusive shells: human anti-socialism,
one thousand and one bloody bodies, our own an afterthought.
Warming cups of soup, chicken-noodle flavor,
and stacks of crackers on a folded napkin, for dipping.

Hey you, don’t help them to bury the light,
don’t give in without a fight
And my brother is telling me that if he makes it back
there’s a good chance he’ll be based in the west coast,
see also: home, see also: happiness
There’s shake and shiver undertones in his voice
when he keeps saying, Don’t worry,
they trained me how to live, but all I can wonder is
if they trained him how to die.

That last part is so perfect, with the words of Pink Floyd cutting in and out and the “shake and shiver undertones” in the brother’s voice. Self has no words.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amreading: Lydia Davis, “Five Signs of Disturbance”

She is watching everything very closely: herself, this apartment, what is outside the windows, and the weather.

There is a day of thunderstorms, with dark yellow and green light in the street, and black light in the alley. She looks into the alley and sees foam running over the concrete, washed out from the gutters by the rain. Then there is a day of high wind.

— from “Five Signs of Disturbance” in Davis’s first collection, Break It Down

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Fall 2016

Self often uses Lydia Davis in her teaching. Something about the crispness of her sentences. Her elegance.

Stay tuned.

Catherine Morland Muses on Henry Tilney

This week, self is teaching her writing students about different narrative techniques, like for example musing. Of which Northanger Abbey has many excellent examples.

Northanger Abbey, Chapter XIV:

It was no effort to Catherine to believe that Henry Tilney could never be wrong. His manner might sometimes surprise, but his meaning must always be just — and what she did not understand, she was always ready to admire . . . The whole walk was delightful, and though it ended too soon, its conclusion was delightful too . . .

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Admiration 4: A List (Far From Complete)

OH NO! SELF ACCIDENTALLY DELETED HER OWN POST.

It happened while she was trying to expand on her reasons for assembling this particular mosaic of images to represent the week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge: ADMIRATION.

And she couldn’t find a previous saved version. Gaaaah! And in re-selecting images, she decided to stop at six instead of the eight she originally had. And she also substituted some images. Sorry for the confusion!

  1. Lady in Red: Ger, chef of Cork’s pre-eminent restaurant, Café Paradiso. Such a great chef, and also very direct and witty! Self loves Ger.
  2. Katniss Everdeen: Self-explanatory, really.
  3. Allison Joseph, co-editor with Jon Tribble of Crab Orchard Review. Fabulousness.
  4. The mother-daughter team who cook and manage Chez Mamie, 22 Hanway Street, London. They make London feel like home.
  5. SeaCity Museum, Southampton, England: Thank you to Joan McGavin, who took her here last year. What a great exhibit on the Titanic. While other cities lay claim to having the best exhibits on the tragedy, Southampton’s is so poignant because it focuses on the crew, most of whom were from this city. And therefore, the focus of the displays is on working-class people. Which makes this a much more layered story. In one gallery, there’s a map on the floor with red dots representing the houses of each of the victims. The dots are clustered around the poorer sections of the city.
  6. Last but not least: Nutschell Ann Windsor, Program Administrator for UCLA Extension’s on-line Writers Program. She is the best. She not only handles all requests with Zen calmness, she is a writer herself. And an editor. She’s holding an anthology she edited.

And now self will post before she accidentally deletes something again.

Stay tuned.

Admiration: Daily Post Photo Challenge, 29 April 2016

  • Show us someone or something you admire (and tell us about them, too!)

— Krista, The Daily Post

Here’s one:  David Bowie, who died of cancer early this year. Self cannot get the lyrics of his songs out of her mind. Here, the chorus of “Changes”:

Ch-ch-ch-ch changes
Turn and face the strange

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Listening to David Bowie on YouTube: “Changes”

Here’s another: Keith Tuma, Miami University Press. This man has steered the Press to indie greatness. Seriously.

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Keith Tuma of Miami University Press, at the 2016 AWP Book Fair in Los Angeles

Finally, shout-out to Nutschell Ann Windsor and Phoebe Lim of UCLA Extension’s Writers Program: Grace Under Pressure, Personified. Here they are at the UCLA Extension Writers Program booth at the 2016 AWP Book Fair in Los Angeles (Fabulous book fair, BTW).

UCLA always has the best swag. They gave out, among other goodies, a UBS stick, a leather-bound blank journal, and really good pens.

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Three Cheers for UCLA Extension’s Writers Program! Love the people. Here they are, doing Spin the Wheel at the 2016 AWP Book Fair in Los Angeles.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Regarding Travel Writing (And Self Sincerely Enjoyed Teaching It Last Weekend)

This past weekend, self taught her second travel writing workshop at the Mendocino Art Center, where she also taught last year.

It was an exciting weekend, with participants writing about Grenada, New Zealand, India, South Africa, Nepal, the Dominican Republic, New York City (just to name a few).

Self does really love teaching this workshop.

How else would she learn that Vegemite tastes like “dirty socks” or that New Zealand’s national candy is something called a chocolate fish? How else would she learn about Pascal’s pineapple lumps (in New Zealand) or about “contracepting elephants” or about “wild game sausage” or that there are hop-on/hop-off buses in Uganda? Or about the delayed reaction time to sand fly bites? Or about Burmese sunblocks made from ground tree bark?

Anyhoo, she used the Best American Travel Writing anthologies for prompts. The 2013 edition was edited by Elizabeth Gilbert and here’s what she says about travel writing in her introduction:

  1. There is no story in the world so marvelous that it cannot be told boringly.
  2. There is no story in the world so boring that it cannot be told marvelously.

Isn’t that such a neat quote?

Self’s next class at the Mendocino Art Center is:

ONE STORY SIX WAYS

Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 6 -7, 2016
9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Mendocino Art Center
Tuition: $200

To enroll online, go here.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

One Story, Six Ways

This is a workshop self invented, and the Mendocino Art Center is letting her run with it.

ONE STORY, SIX WAYS

Two days of intensive experimentation at different ways to tell ONE event.

In the Mendocino Art Center.

Saturday & Sunday: Feb. 6 & 7, 2016

Instructor: Your Fabulous Blog Mistress Herself

Cost: $200

Such a steal. For $200 you get self for two whole days.

Not to mention, six versions of the same story.

Here’s where to enroll:

MendocinoArtCenter.org/Winter16/Villanueva2.html

Or call: (707) 937 – 5818 xt. 10

Or call: (800) 653 – 3328

 

Mendocino Art Center, Winter 2016 Writing Classes

Self taught one workshop last winter at the Mendocino Art Center. This winter, she’s teaching two. Thanks to Karen Bowers, who invited her back:

Jan. 22 – 24 (Friday to Sunday): JOURNEYS — Exploring Inward While Traveling Outward

Grounding in the World — it’s what the best travel writers have. The journey to another place is never just personal. It grounds the travel writer in a culture, a world that speaks to a sense of discovery, the urge to explore, and test boundaries. It brings the traveler out of private headspace and into the people around them.

Travel writing has experienced a kind of renaissance in the book publishing world. While the world shrinks and previously exotic landscapes become more and more accessible, the field of travel writing is splintering into sub-genres: Women’s Travel Writing; Extreme Adventure Travel Writing; the Naturalist as Travel Writer.

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Winter: Elk, California

Feb. 6 – 7 (Saturday & Sunday): ONE STORY, SIX WAYS (All prose writing; no distinction between fiction and memoir)

Just what it says, folks. Bring in one piece (There will be in-class writing as well, so don’t stress if you have nothing). The piece that has you all tied up in knots because you’ve been trying and trying to tell this story forever. And now it’s dead in the water and you don’t know what to do.

We’ll do that piece six different ways. Some of the ways:

flash fiction * conversation/dramatic monologue * split point of view * setting and landscape/mood * episodic * splintered consciousness

Interested? Sign up at the Mendocino Art Center:

MendocinoArtCenter.org/classes
(707) 937 – 5818, xt. 10 or (800) 653 – 3328, xt. 10

Teaching at the Mendocino Art Center, Jan/Feb 2016

Self is pretty psyched. Aside from a class for UCLA Extension Writers Program (starts Feb. 10), she is back in Mendocino to teach two writing workshops for the Mendocino Art Center this winter (Scroll down for Contact/Registration Information):

The first, January 22 – 24, is:

Journeys: Exploring Inward While Traveling Outward

Grounding in the world — it’s what the best travel writers have. This grounding can be honed. At the same time that travel brings a sense of discovery, and satisfies a deep human need to explore, to learn, to know, and to test oneself, the travel writer needs head space to make sense of the new sensations/sights/sounds — to create, out of all the different new experiences, a coherence. A theme.

Whether the focus is landscape or character, the participant will learn how to utilize specific techniques (like judicious use of juxtaposition) to re-create a travel experience. We’ll stay away from the all-too-easy tendency to exoticize different cultures. We’ll examine the responsibilities of witnessing and of sharing basic human truths.

Experience. Memory. Process.

Bring it on!

2nd Workshop:

One Story, Six Ways

Feb. 6 -7

Begin with an image. Begin with a song. Begin with a memory.

Learn to write that thing, six different ways.

That’s it! Could anything be more straightforward?

We’ll try different strategies: everything from writing flash (500 words or less) to episodic narrative (broken down into scenes) to dramatic monologue to help YOU decide what the best way to tell your story is. There’ll be lots of sharing, so be prepared to give (as well as receive) peer feedback.

Thanks to Karen Bowers and the Mendocino Art Center for having self back to teach!

Sign up here or call for information: (800) 653-3328, xt. 10

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